Share folder in Azure VM with remote compuers joined to Azure AD

Paul W Eschenbach Jr 1 Reputation point

I have installed Quickbooks Pro on an Azure VM. I have created an Azure AD Domain Service "managed domain" that I own and have added the appropriate DNS TXT records to verify it with Azure. I did this because I do not have an "on-prem" environment, I'm relying completely on Azure (cloud only environment). I have our company file on a shared folder on the VM, and have granted access to an Azure group in the managed domain. My question is, how do I get my remote users (they have laptops at home) access to the company file on the AZ VM? I can connect to my VM via RDP over a public IP address, but surely there's a better way to do this? I have a test Windows 10 machine that I have connected to Azure, however, I can't figure out how to connect it to the managed domain or to the shared folder on the AZ VM. How should I do this?

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A Microsoft app that connects remotely to computers and to virtual apps and desktops.
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  1. SaiKishor-MSFT 16,336 Reputation points Microsoft Employee

    @Paul W Eschenbach Jr Thank you for reaching out to Microsoft Q&A. This doc here talks about connecting an on-premises windows PC to an Azure file share -

    Is this what you are looking for? Please let me know. Thank you!

  2. Mark Jonathan 0 Reputation points

    The answer provided may be part of the solution but it is unlikely to provide a complete answer to the original post. QB uses a version of a lightweight database engine originally developed at the University of Waterloo and now marketed as SQL_Anywhere after being acquired by Sybase. Sybase was eventually purchased by SAP and they continue to provide support for SQL Anywhere.

    15 years ago I was involved in the installation of a Truck Scaling solution that used this database and it was very easy to implement and maintain. I have subsequently been involved with consulting engagements with various versions of Quickbooks (QB) and the way Intuit has implemented its version of SQL Anywhere is somewhat unique in that it continues the configuration of earlier versions of QB which used a proprietary database engine.

    This requires that the users have full access to the directory in which the file for the database resides and IIRC correctly, they also recommend it be mapped with a drive letter. The QB installation software allows you to install the entire program OR just the database engine so a typical installation in an office with an on-prem Windows Server (WS) would have the database engine installed on the WS with the directory where the database file is stored on the WS mapped to a drive letter on workstations requiring QB access. The other scenario was to have the entire program installed on a workstation that acted as both a client and server; I think most reading this would immediately understand the undesirability of this scenario.

    It is curious that MSFT hasn't come up with an Azure-based solution for this situation as I believe QB remains a requirement for many thousands of users worldwide and would allow those customers to realize the promise of M365 as a solution to end their need for a Windows Server Essentials type solution. I think it is pretty safe to say that Intuit is promoting Quickbooks Online (QBO) as the solution for users like the OP (i.e a small number of mostly remote users) and it is likely that the users of on-prem versions have additional LOB applications that predicate that one or more Windows Servers be maintained anyway. The issue with this is that dependent on which version you choose, it can be much more expensive to license QBO, it requires a very reliable internet connection, and does not offer as robust a feature set as the on-prem version.

    All this said I would advise the OP to seriously consider moving to QBO as I expect that in the absence of MSFT and/or Intuit stepping up with a robust solution that supports the current Windows Desktop version of the software, any workaround I can envisage may be very unstable.